The Last Mile: Final Effort on Customer Delivery
The term Last Mile is used in three major areas of the business world. For those who work with sales, it concerns the last effort made before the customer purchases, applying strategies that have not yet been developed until the moment of the final transaction. In marketing, the expression is used to determine the last step in the shopper’s (consumer’s) decision, that is, stimulating each individual internally at the time of finalizing the purchase, usually at the point of sale. As for the last mile, logistics sectorliterally means The last mile, the final step of delivering a product. In other words, it is the moment when the order leaves a distribution center and goes to the customer. A segment that should grow 10.2% a year until 2026, according to surveys published by Revista Mundo Logística.
In a relay race, whoever takes the baton last must be the fastest and most accurate to cross the finish line first. The effort of all other athletes prior to this one would be useless if the last runner does not crown the entire team that worked to reach the goal of victory. In the last mile (or kilometer) of the Logistics sector are deposited the hopes of a whole chain of companies that have a single objective: to make the customer happy with the speed and quality of delivery, always valuing the preservation of the product (to arrive in perfect condition) and satisfaction of the final consumer (who is usually anxious waiting for his purchase). That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to the lead time (delivery time).
With the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social isolation, digital orders have exploded worldwide, requiring much more speed and efficiency from those working with Last Mile. In Brazil alone, online sales grew 205%, according to the Brazilian Society of Retail and Consumption. Even those who don’t like the internet ended up adhering to digital purchases. Some for the first time. According to a survey by E-Bit and Nielsen, in the first half of 2020, 78% of all Brazilian virtual transactions took place on marketplaces (purchase platforms), which represented an increase of 56% in this segment compared to the last half of 2019. Numbers that continued to rise in 2020 and are still being expanded.
In this scenario, consumers are more attentive to delivery times and prices charged by those providing this type of service. It is worth mentioning that 70% of customers do not return to consuming products from companies that fail to deliver orders, according to a study carried out by Forrester & IBM. There has been a profound change in the profile of these people, who now make a point of keeping track of where the merchandise is in real time. For this reason, many companies have invested in product traffic control using tracking technologies, to keep the buyer informed about the path of the object purchased online. In addition, everyone’s desire to receive orders as quickly as possible has led several corporations to adopt same-day delivery.(same-day delivery) as a work methodology, requiring a considerable contribution of resources in regional distribution centers, whether in the transit point model (transition points, where truck loads are fractioned and redirected to urban vehicles, thus entering the last mile) or cross docking (which, unlike the transit point, receives products from different suppliers). The expectation is that same-day delivery will be adopted by 25% of the market over the next five years.
But for that, companies in the sector must be prepared. In addition to investments in small urban distribution centers, also known as Dark Stores, it is also possible to adopt the strategy of smartlockers (intelligent lockers, where the customer can go to pick up the order, if he wishes).
Those who work with Last Mile must always be looking for innovations and countless possibilities to reach their customers in the best and most agile way, looking for possibilities to share platforms for cargo vehicles, or even alternative vehicles, such as drones, scooters with electric motors and bicycles adapted for the transport of volumes.
Now, of all the investments, two stand out. The first is linked to the Information Technology (IT) area and the second, crucial for any type of process, involves training and qualification.
It is fundamental to apply resources in goods control software and also fleet control, aiming at providing operational transparency to the order flow and optimizing vehicle performance (the last mile can consume 28% of the final value of the delivery according to the Supply Chain website Dive). Not to mention the omnichannel strategy, offering the customer the comfort of accessing the company through different digital platforms, always offering the same corporate language.
As we have already anticipated, the second necessary investment to obtain good results is the constant training of the workforce, and when we talk about the workforce, we are talking about all those involved in the Logistics process of your company, as this guarantees the quality and assertiveness in all aspects of your business.
Anyway, so that all this can work and be applied, we need someone to support this operation and with that we are talking about some solutions that we can offer, if you are looking for a solution, talk to us.